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    The ‘nature’ by Mario Rigoni Stern

    Pino Costalunga will read  passages especially from Stern’s texts about nature.  In particular he will concentrate on stories from his book entitled “Men, Woods and Bees”.


    Mario Rigoni Stern says of his book: ” I wish everyone could hear the song of partridges at sunrise, see the roe deer on the pastures in spring, the larches reddened by the autumn on the cliffs, the darting of fish in the clear waters of streams and bees picking the nectar from cherry trees in bloom.

    In these stories I write about  country villages, about natural environments still liveable.  You will also find those wonderful social insects that are the bees,  but also ancient arts and crafts that are slowly and inexorably disappearing at least here in the Western world. You will also find stories about wild animals and men who lived – and some still live – in an environment that is increasingly difficult to preserve. My short stories are not about silent springs, withered trees, or death by cancer, but about things that can still be enjoyed as long as you have the desire for life, the willingness to walk and the patience to observe.”

    Travel in Italy from Guido Piovene to the present day

    Pino Costalunga will re-propose the pages of “Viaggio in Italia” by Guido Piovene, reading in excerpts. We will then immerse ourselves in the same places and landscapes described and recounted by the great author from Vicenza, but also proposing pages by contemporary authors, who describe the same places but today, 50/60 years later.

    Piovene’s Vicenza, the city and its suburbs, meet/clash with the “same pages” of Vitaliano Trevisan, who retains Piovene’s lucidity and often sarcasm, but writes in a different context. Piovene’s Veneto becomes the “Ballade de Jadis” of another important Venetian author, Giulio Mozzi. We find ourselves in Roberto Ferrucci’s Vespa trip between Fusina and Porto Marghera. From Piovene’s Venice to that of Tiziano Scarpa… and so on. Poetic glimpses will not be overlooked, such as the territories described in dense verse by Fabio Franzin, one of the highest voices of contemporary poetry in Veneto and Italy.

    The great writing of Piovene’s territory, as well as that of the other authors presented, is a clear metaphor of an Italy that no longer exists, but also of a general European change, if not of the entire world.

    The year 2017 marks 60 years since the publication of “Il viaggio in Italia”, published by Mondadori in 1957. The meeting should provide an opportunity to rediscover and re-read the Vicenza writer’s reportage, which was destined to become the most famous literary guide of those years.

    Days of War

    From the homonymous novel by Giovanni Comisso and the Epistolario edited by Luigi Urettini.

    ‘Giorni di guerra’ (Days of War) is the novel by Giovanni Comisso that many compare to Hemingway’s ‘Addio alle Armi’ (Farewell to Arms). It has a similar description of the rout of Caporetto. In Comisso, however, there is not the detachment of the American author, but a melancholy and an adherence to human types and even the small events of the war. The author transforms his story into a great portrait, at times amusing and at times moving. It’s a narration of poor humanity in the face of what was one of the greatest catastrophes of the past century.

    Despite the theme, the novel is light and first tells the passion of many young people for the idea of war and then their detachment, alternating poetic pages with passages of strong narrative capacity and extraordinary comic scenes.

    Commisso, Veneto and the Great War

    Giovanni Comisso (Treviso, 3 October 1895 – Treviso, 21 January 1969) is undoubtely one of the most intersting Italian writers from Veneto of the beginning of the 20th century. Egocentric, passionate, a curious author and a journalist with great descriptive skills, a wanderer for business and for pleasure, he left us a series of articles, novels and essays that tell of an era from a different, often unusual perspective.

    Pino Costalunga will present the portrait of the writer and the man Comisso, especially in the period in which he was on the battlefield during the First World War. “On the battlefield”, so to speak, because the author from Treviso was lucky enough to remain always in the rear and therefore to live only the echoes of the distant battles.

    War as a spectacle, therefore, also appears in the correspondence – intelligently edited by prof. Luigi Urettini – of the writer with his father and especially his mother: the war with all its human miseries, the war as a moment of suspension from carefree life, the war of those who do not fight directly, but are involved in it and often victims.

    The resulting portrait is therefore neither tragic nor dramatic, but often amusing, light, always elegiac, thanks to the undoubted descriptive and evocative power of the great writer’s pen.

    Veneto in verse

    A journey through Venetian poetry, starting with a few hints of ancient poetry, and then moving on to modern and contemporary production.

    The performance will follow in particular the thread of two themes: landscape and love. It will go through several authors from the Veneto area (with some encroachments in the Friuli and Trentino areas), regardless of the language they used.

    So we will hear verses in Venetian by Giacomo Noventa or Mario Stefani; in Trevigiano by Ernesto Calzavara or Zanzotto; in Veronese by Berto Barabarani; in Vicentino by Fernando Bandini. Without forgetting the poets from the Veneto area who wrote in Italian, such as Diego Valeri or David Maria Turoldo.

    Verses that narrate the Veneto and the love, the authors’ love for their land, but also love for life and unquestionable love for their loved one. In the end, there will be verses that leave aside the more serious and “poetic” tone to bring a smile or a hearty laugh to the audience, but which also fit into the great poetic tradition not only of the Veneto, but also of Italy and Europe.

    The Happy Veneto

    This staged reading will reveal Comisso as a man and an artist, with his descriptive capacity for places and characters that blends perfectly with his elegiac qualities. Comisso creates a story which is also a remake […]


    Comisso creates a story which is also a reworking of previous writings and pages drafted in the form of notes, to which he returns up to the year before his death. He thus recounts the period he spent in his country home, precisely a farmhouse situated in Zero Branco in the Treviso area, between 1930 and 1955, and purchased with the proceeds of ‘the  fifty or so articles written during my trip to the Far East’.

    In this “world-outside-the-world”, Comissoexperienced the transition from sharecropping to small holding, the change from agricultural Italy to industrial Italy. Of course he lived through the Second World War, which contributed greatly to this change, not only in life and production, but also and above all in mentality. He lives the thoughts and lives of many peasants he describes them in an unparalleled way, like a metaphor for the context in which he lives. The “Country House” becomes a microcosm where the world of the author contemporary to him is reflected in a result of highest poetry.

    Giovanni Commisso

    Giovanni Comisso (Treviso, 3 October 1895 – Treviso, 21 January 1969) is undoubtedly one of the most interesting ‘Veneti’ and Italian writers of the early 20th century. He is “probably the greatest living author”- as Mario Monti defines him – although he has not had the fortune that other authors from his country have had. There may be many reasons for this, but the fact is that he was admired by many and was a model for other great writers. Egocentric, passionate, a curious author and journalist with a great descriptive capacity, a vagabond by trade and for pleasure. Commisso has left us a series of articles, novels and essays thatrecount an era from a different, often unusual perspective. Winner of many awards, he managed to tell the story of Italy between the two wars in a way that few storytellers have been able to do.

    Pino Costalunga, accompanied by Giuseppe Zambon’s accordion, will interpret the texts of La Casa di Campagna by Giovanni Commisso. This staged reading will reveal Comisso as a man and an artist, with his descriptive capacity for places and characters that blends perfectly with his elegiac qualities. Comisso creates a story, which is also a remake […]

    Stories of Laura Lattes

    In 2018, 40 years have passed since  the death of Laura Lattes, author of  the ‘Storie di Mirella’, a children’s book much praised by Vamba, the author of Gianburrasca.
    The meeting will bring out her human qualities and her skills  in writing  for kids, also taking into account  her personal experience as a Jewish teacher removed in 1938 from the ‘Fogazzaro Institute’  where she taught.

    A testimony not to forget

    Laura Lattes was born in Venice, in Malamocco, Italy, in 1893 to Jewishparents : Abramo Samuele Angelo Lattes and Elisa Segre.  Angelo and Elisa were however born and always lived in Italy. They were Italian before they were Jewish. “I too felt Italian before I was Jewish,” says Lattes.

    Laura arrived in Vicenza in 1900 and in this city obtained a master’s degree.

    “I found many friends in Vicenza, friendships that stayed with me all my life. It was the city of my games and my studies. Vicenza was my city”.

    In 1914 after graduating in Italian Literature in  Florence, she started working as a teacher. Se had to move often from one city to another, until, in 1934 she returned to Vicenza because she had won a teaching post at the ‘Don Giuseppe Fogazzaro Institute’. Unfortunately, in those years, a strange wind had begun to blow in Italy, a wind made of human stupidity, hatred and ferocity: the wind of Fascism that will produce, from there, the terrible racial laws against the Jews.

    In 1938, in fact, Laura Lattes was expelled from teaching,  like all Italian Jews as a result of  racial laws and forced to teach in the ‘Jewish school’ in Padua and Venice to pupils turned away  like her from state schools.

    “They were first of all Italian, like me, but they were to blame for being Jewish. Like me: the fault of being Jewish! Even textbooks could no longer bear the signatures of authors of Jewish origin”.

    Pino Costalunga will retrace both the human and literary events of Laura Lattes, in particular those of her teaching period, thus recounting a difficult and terrible era as it was that of the Fascist period in Italy and the racial laws. This often sad and painful story will be alternated with pages of Lattes from the  ‘Storie di Mirella’ where the sweetness of writing for children will instead be counterbalanced for the realization of a dense and at the same time pleasant show.



    Little Princess

    Little Princess is a children’s reading based on the book by Ulf Stark. Translated and adapted by Pino Costalunga ‘Principessa Piccolina’ – published by Raffaello / Le Pepite editions.

    The Plot

    Why does the Little Princess with the sweet and melodious voice sing such beautiful and sad songs? Because she is not like all other children, so at least say the King and Queen. Who knows if the nice prince thinks this too, who, passing a day there, hears his sweet song … A story that tackles the themes of diversity and affectivity in a poetic and amusing way. Ulf Stark, the great Swedish writer, in his first visit to Vicenza, was fascinated by the beautiful legend of Princess Jana of Villa ai Nani, an elegant eighteenth-century mansion located on the green hills surrounding the city, he wanted to reinterpret and rewrite it. Pino Costalunga, who at the time told him about it, took care of the translation and the adaptation from swedish, making the narration ideal for children, with the help of small objects and figures.

    Age: from 4 years old

    Reading is bad for your health

    Thanks to this reading, children will have the opportunity to find themselves in front of the charm of good literature and a voice that will make them come alive. It will not be easy to escape this fascination … with the risk of become readers.

    A path to love reading

    A path also for those who do not like to read dedicated to lower secondary school students. The meeting will be set in an ironic and fun way, it will warn of the dangers of reading: “Reading can make you think and think it’s too tiring, is better not to think!” Reading can help you make choices and understand that reality is not as simple as bad TV or tamed journalism often portrays it.

    It will be assumed that many children do not like to read, without blaming children, because often the problem is that reading has really become difficult for many, as many studies show. Furthermore, many have not yet had the opportunity to encounter the right pages that triggered the spring of appreciation.

    Age: from 11 years old

    The forest of letters

    A nice story with lots of nursery rhymes to play with the spelling rules. In correspondence with the release of Pino Costalunga’s book ‘Il Bosco delle Letter’ published by the Raffaello Publishing Group – Il Mulino a Vento.

    The Plot

    Alin and Carlotta run happily to school: today their teacher has organized a strange treasure hunt. And it will be truly special, with animals, robots, secret passages, dark underground passages and a forest full of … grammar traps. An instructive and entertaining story and a collection of funny nursery rhymes to introduce young readers to Italian spelling and grammar and to understand how much fun you can actually have with rules, words and accents.

    Age: From 7 years old.

    When Findus was Little and Dissapieard

    Pettson’s books – Peter, in translation – and Findus are well known in Sweden, where they come from, and in English-speaking countries, where they are translated. In Italy the translation has not yet been edited. The story presented is a translation by Pino Costalunga. The author is precisely the swedish Sven Nordqvist of whom are also the drawings in the book that is used for the representation.

    The Plot

    The narrative is the story of a cat and its owner. Mr. Pietro lives with his chickens in a large country house and feels very alone. But one day his neighbor Bede Andersson arrives with a cardboard box that reads in large: “Findus. Green peas”. But inside there are no peas, inside there is a small, very small cat … And this is how Findus the cat becomes friends with Pietro and … many other things

    Age: from 3 years old

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